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Tuesday Tea Time | 7 Budget Friendly Wedding Venue Options

Today we’re chatting about venues, the single most expensive wedding element you’ll plan for. But truth be told, there are ways around it, ways that will not only save you hard earned pennies, but will add a unique charm to your once-in-a-lifetime wedding soiree!

Photos: The Reason + Tanja Lippert

1. Welcome the off-season trend

Many couples are choosing to tie the knot between October to April. Personally, we think it’s brilliant! Not only will you avoid guests having to choose between multiple wedding invites on the same day (a common occurrence during wedding season), but you’ll also save big money with all your wedding vendors.

During the off-season months, rates are generally 20-30% less than peak season and, as much as I hate to admit it, many are willing to flex on their regular rates off-season. After all, a paying job is better than no job at all!

In addition, you’ll likely get more time and attention, as your vendors won’t be spreading their time and attention between dozens of other happy couples. Meaning, you’ll be spoiled rotten!

2. Say ‘so long’ to Saturday

Since the beginning of time, Saturday has been crowned The Wedding Day. Many times, you’ll hear venues say, “We’re completely book (until the end of time),” or “We sell out years ahead!” Most likely, they’re quoting their Saturday quota.

By opting for a Friday or a Sunday, heck even a weekday if you’re adventurous, you’ll likely get your first choice in venue AND at an extremely lower rate. Does it get any better than this?! 

3. Remember, a wedding is a “party”

Your parents and grandparents have said it, but I’ll say it again – the price sky rockets the minute you say the word “wedding.”

Try requesting a quote for a party or event. After all, a wedding is just that, isn’t it?

Photos: Life Strings + Bell Victorian Gardens

4. Consider your favourite places

While a ballroom is certainly lovely and the golf course epitomises class, there are countless other venue options that can deliver an impeccable setting.

Consider a small local winery, a heritage building or the park. Don’t forget about the beach and even private residences. Agricultural sites likes farms, orchards and community gardens are wonderful options as well. And last, but certainly not least, consider B&B’s; their lands are usually lovely and beautifully maintained, hence offering the perfect backdrop to your backyard affair.

These sorts of venues are not typically as busy and bombarded with wedding requests, leaving you more room for flexibility in everything from price to set up restrictions and property usage. Ask to speak to the owners or managers, and don’t be afraid to haggle– just a little that is! 

5. Let the setting speak for itself

When searching for a venue, pay attention to the canvas, in a manner of speaking.

Search out spaces that make you swoon, the way they are. The more lovely and fitting it is to start, the less you’ll need to spend in creating the perfect environment. And at the end of the day, less is more and a natural setting is most authentic.

6. Request an itemised breakdown

Like most contracts, venues can have hidden fees. And when it comes to smaller venues who offer to “do it all,” little things are often left unmentioned. You may find that later on that you’ve been charged service fees for things you thought were included. To avoid such headachey surprises, ask for a detailed itemised breakdown, ensuring that no fees are left hidden from you. The venue may laugh at your consciousness, but it’s better safe than sorry.

By seeing the cost breakdown, you can also look at eliminating unnecessary services or proposing complementary add-ons.

Photo: The hostess + Sarah Yates

7. Host a day time soiree

We personally love our last and final budget friendly venue option: Consider hosting a breakfast wedding or afternoon high tea. Venues will typically charge for half-day rentals, as oppose to full-day rentals, and at a lesser cost per hour. In addition, breakfast and lunch fare are dramatically less expensive than dinner.

How about a lavish plated breakfast, complete with Grandma’s scone mix favour and sparkling mimosas? Or what about a blanketed picnic lunch, with adorable packaged sandwich boxes and a fresh fruit buffet? Think outside the box for a fresh and fun daytime wedding.

Well friends, there you have it! 7 extremely budget friendly venue options for the most magical day of your life.

Now tell us about your plans!…How do you plan to penny pinch and what are your cost-effective alternatives?